Medicine and Biomedical Science
Help and support
Drop in and see a Medicine Librarian
Central Library, Librarians' office
Your librarian can help with:
- Searching and finding information
- Evaluating the information you find
- Using and connecting to e-journals, e-books and databases
- Referencing and reference management software
- Using the Library and our services
- Open access publishing
To access all College resources when off-campus please sign in to Library Search first, see Accessing online resources from outside an Imperial campus.
PubMed (freely available)
Free search engine primarily giving access to the MEDLINE database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics.
Access via Ovid (College resource)
Covers the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine and the preclinical sciences. To access this database choose “Epub Ahead of Print, In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE(R) Daily and Ovid MEDLINE(R) 1946 to Present.”
Access via Ovid (College resource)
Covers a wide variety of biomedical subject, and literature related to the pharmacological effects of drugs and chemicals. Includes journals from Europe and Asia not found in other biomedical databases.
Access via Ovid (College resource)
Covers all aspects of public health at both international and community level, as well material from other biomedical and life science fields. Provides selected full-text content of journals, reports and conferences from hard-to-find sources. Please be aware access is restricted to 5 simultaneous users.
Access via Ovid (College resource)
Abstracts centred on psychology and the behavioural & social sciences with references to journal articles, books, book chapters, technical reports and dissertations.
Maternity and Infant Care
Access via Ovid (College resource)
Maternity and Infant Care is aimed at professionals involved in the care of women and infants. It contains over 120,000 references to journal articles from over 550 international English language journals, books, and grey literature relating to pregnancy, labour, birth, postnatal care, and neonatal care and the first year of an infant’s life.
HMIC (Health Management Information Consortium)
Access via Ovid (College resource)
A database based on the libraries of the King's Fund and the Department of Health. The records are on subjects relating to health and social care management information: service development and NHS organisation and administration, health service policy, medical equipment and supplies, and other related areas. Searching single databases will enable you to use the full search functionality which is lost when cross-searching two or more Ovid databases. Therefore we recommend you choose the HMIC option from the pop-up box to search just this database.
CINAHL (College resource)
CINAHL is the most comprehensive database for information relating to nursing and allied health disciplines including medical/laboratory technology, dental hygiene, athletic training and speech-language pathology. It includes articles from nearly 3000 journals, health care books and conference proceedings.
Scopus (College resource)
Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. It searches nearly 22,000 titles covering science, technology, medicine, social sciences and arts and humanities.
Web of Science (College resource)
Provides a single route of access to:
- Web of Science Core Collection - for articles, abstracts, editorials, letters, reviews and cited references, and conference proceedings
- Current Contents Connect - current awareness resource, providing detailed table of contents to more than 8,000 research journals, over 2,000 books and over 7,000 evaluated websites
ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (College resource)
ProQuest Dissertations & Theses is the world's most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world with 3.8 million works, It contains a significant amount of new international dissertations and theses from 88 countries both in citations and in full text and so is a useful resource for grey literature.
Biomedical Science resources
JoVE (College resource)
JoVE is an online research journal that makes & publishes videos of experiments to increase reproducibility and transparency in the biological, medical, chemical and physical sciences. Log in by choosing the ‘sign in with Shibboleth’ option.
JoVE: General Laboratory Techniques
Videos that show how to use the standard pieces of laboratory equipment that are essential in many experiments.
Henry Stewart Talks (College resource)
Biomedical and Life Sciences lectures by leading world experts.
eLS Enclyclopaedia of Life Sciences (College resource)
eLS features over 5,000 specially commissioned, peer-reviewed and citable articles in the life sciences written by leaders in the field to provide comprehensive and authoritative coverage of each subject area. eLS is updated by approximately 400 articles per year, with new articles publishing on a monthly basis.
Sense about Science (freely available)
Independent campaigning charity that challenges the misrepresentation of science and evidence in public life.
Evidence Based Medicine & Clinical Resources
The Cochrane Library (free within the UK. If overseas please sign into Library Search and access it this way)
A regularly updated collection of evidence-based medicine databases and information on the effects of interventions in healthcare. Includes the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and Cochrane Clinical Answers. It is designed to provide high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making.
TRIP database (freely available)
Trip is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care. Includes; primary research articles from peer-reviewed journals, systematic reviews, clinical and regulatory guidelines, medical images, e-textbooks and patient information leaflets.
NICE Evidence Services (including Evidence Search) (freely available)
A suite of services providing easy access to high quality authoritative evidence and best practice, covering health, social care and public health. NICE Evidence Services includes Evidence Search, a search tool bringing together high quality consolidated and synthesised evidence from hundreds of trusted sources on health, drugs and technologies, public health, social care, and healthcare management. It includes guidance, systematic reviews, evidence summaries and patient information from sources such as the BNF, Clinical Knowledge Summaries, SIGN, the Cochrane Library and Royal Colleges, Social Care Online and GOV.UK.
QualityWatch website (freely available)
A free-to-access hub for data and analysis relating to health and social care services. The website holds a number of in-depth research reports, as well as 300 charts and tables containing data on how health and social care services in England are performing, including emergency care, cancer care, primary care and mental health care. It also compares the quality of healthcare across 15 OECD countries. Qualitywatch is an independent research programme from the Health Foundation and the Nuffield Trust.
EBM Datalab (freely available)
Evidence-Based Medicine Data Lab, at the University of Oxford. They build working, useful products to help academics and doctors and campaign for better data in healthcare: OpenPrescribing, OpenTrials, COMPare Trials and Retractobot.
JoVE Science Education - Clinical Skills (College resource)
From the Journal of Visualised Experiments: simple, easy-to-understand video demonstrations covering methodologies and techniques for physical examinations and emergency and critical care procedures. Log in by choosing the ‘Sign in with Shibboleth’ option if prompted.
Clinical Decision Support Tools
UpToDate (College resource)
Evidence-based, physician-authored clinical decision support resource to aid point-of-care decisions. Authors include physicians, editors and peer reviewers who synthesize the most recent medical information into evidence-based recommendations that are proven to improve patient care and quality. Available online and via app.
For app access you will need to register first as an Imperial user.
To do this:
- Click on the link above to access UpToDate.
If you are off campus and not on the Imperial college computer network you will need to sign in to Library Search first with your college username and password so that it recognises you are an Imperial College member when you access the resource - you can then search for UpToDate in Library Search and access it this way.
- When you are on the Uptodate homepage click on the “Login/Register” tab in the top right hand corner. If you already have an account with UpToDate and want to merge the accounts, then just log in.
- If you need to create a new account – please register as a new user and create your username and password.
Important: You will use your username and password to access UpToDate from your mobile devices.
- Once you have registered, you will receive an email confirmation from UpToDate. The email will contain further instructions on downloading the UpToDate Mobile app. You can now download UpToDate apps on up to two devices.
- Once the mobile app has downloaded on your device, please use the UpToDate username and password you created during the registration process to log in.
In addition to the app, now you have registered you will be able to access UpToDate from any computer with internet access using your username and password.
BMJ Best Practice (College resource)
BMJ Best Practice is a point of care tool which aims to assist health professionals in making decisions about treatment and diagnosis. It uses an evidence-based, patient-focused approach. Available online and via app. The BMJ Best Practice app will provide you with: offline access to 1,000+ conditions, 250+ interactive medical calculators, topics broken down into sections including prevention, diagnosis and management and procedural videos and images included for relevant conditions.
To download this app: (ensure you are connected to Imperial-WPA Wi-Fi when completing this process on your mobile device).
Stage One: Access BMJ Practice
- Go to bestpractice.bmj.com/best-practice
- You can make sure that you are on Imperial-WPA Wi-Fi because it will say Imperial College London at the top of the page. If this is not the case, log into Imperial WPA Wi-Fi.
Stage Two: Access Your Personal Account.
- Click on ‘Register’ in the green outlined box and complete the short form or, if you already have an account, sign in to it now.
Stage Three: Download the App (you can only do this is you have accessed BMJ Best Practice in the last six months and have a personal account.)
- Search BMJ Best Practice in the App Store
- Open the app and enter the email address and then password of your personal account.
The app will then take about five minutes to download onto your device.
Clinical decision support system software, searchable by symptoms, signs, and patient factors. VisualDx builds a patient-specific differential, or look up drug-induced adverse reactions by medications. Tens of thousands of images and graphics speed comparison, recognition, and diagnosis. VisualDx is used to validate a diagnosis, access next steps for management and care, and for patient education.
VisualDx is available as an app for Android and iOS. For app access you will need to register first as an Imperial user.
To do this:
- From a College networked computer, click the VisualDx URL
- Click 'Get the Mobile App' icon and fill out the information to create a personal account
- Search for VisualDx in either the App Store or Google Play. Download and enter the username and password you created in Step 2.
Revision / Study Aids and Anatomy Resources
Acland's video atlas of human anatomy (College resource)
The Atlas uses simple language and high quality images to present a series of three dimensional, rotating anatomical videos, and is unique in using real human specimens. Each section is presented in simple, everyday language by Dr Robert Acland, professor emeritus in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Coverage includes the upper extremity, lower extremity, trunk, head and neck and the internal organs. As well as videos you can test your knowledge with exam questions, share clips and save them to your favourites. PDF transcripts are also available. Off-site access requires a College username and password.
Anatomy TV (College resource)
The world's most detailed 3D model of human anatomy online. Models can be rotated and layers of anatomy added or removed. Includes all titles plus test management system, test bank and study guides.
Box of Broadcasts
BoB allows all students, researchers and staff at Imperial to choose and record television and radio programmes from over 60 Freeview channels. The recorded programmes are kept indefinitely and added to a growing media archive (currently at over 1 million programmes) including transcripts, with all content shared by users across all subscribing institutions. As well as the material you have recorded, you can play back and make clips from all the material recorded on BoB by other UK university staff and students. The scripts of programmes are searchable so you can easily find clips that will add to your knowledge or make your presentations more interesting.
Clinical Key MedEd
Search Engine which searches Elsevier medical content plus information from Medline.
Full Medical Education Catalogue Over 200 acclaimed textbooks covering 40 medical specialties. Add book chapters to your bookshelf- this will enable you to highlight, bookmark and take notes. Create flashcards to test yourself later on the content you have just read.
Videos Over 850 associated videos ranging from practical demonstrations of anatomical dissections to instructional clinical examination examples
Images Over 85,000 images. When you find pictures that you would like to use in a presentation, you can save them for later use without leaving the results page. Images can be dragged and dropped from the search results list into Presentation Maker, or saved using the ‘add to presentation’ button. The reference citations will automatically be added.
Quick Access Summaries Over 1,500 quick access summaries distilling complex medical conditions into easy-to-understand synopses
Search for Imperial College London on the login page and you will then be directed to our login page. Once you have done that you will have access to everything. Elsevier recommends that you also create a personal account on ClincalKey as this allows you to save searches and bookmarks as well as to use the app. Click on the confirmation email to get 180 days of remote access. To extend this, log into your Clinical Key personal account while on the Imperial network to get an extra 180 days. If your remote access expires you will just need to re-register.
Download the ClinicalKey Student Bookshelf app to access your personal bookshelf across all devices whenever you need it.
Instant Anatomy (College resource)
Provides diagrams, video podcasts, mp3 podcasts and other various formats covering all areas of the human body.
Visible Body: Human Anatomy Atlas
Human Anatomy Atlas 2018 includes 3D models of over 6000 anatomical structures comprising all body systems and both male and female models; microanatomy of tissue and special organs; rotatable moving 3D models demonstrating muscle movements; and side-by-side comparisons of cross sections with cadaver and diagnostic images. It also includes a 1,000+ question test bank as well as encyclopedic anatomy reference content in seven languages, including definitions, pronunciations, and Latin names for all structures.
To access the desktop version of this resource, click on the link above and then the ‘2018 visible body’ link.
It is also available as an app which can be downloaded onto your phone or tablet. This includes an augmented reality functionality (available on ARKit supported iOS devices and soon available on ARCore supported Android devices) that turns any room into an anatomy lab with the app's interactive 3D visuals.
To download the app:
When on campus and connected to Imperial College’s wifi: search the app store for ‘2018 atlas perpetual’ and then choose the 2nd option ‘for organizations only.’ If you are on campus and connected to Imperial College London’s wifi then you should be able to automatically open and start using this app. You will need to open the app while connected to the campus wifi at least once every 150 days. The instructions for downloading it while off campus are available here
Checklists to aid users in critically appraising articles and other sources of medical information have been created by a variety of organisations. The checklists are usually tailored to specific types of article or studies such as Randomised Controlled Trials, Systematic reviews or Qualitative studies. They can be downloaded from the following links:
Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) (Freely available)
Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) (Freely available)
BestBETS (Freely available)
Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) (Freely available)
Specifically for randomized controlled trials.
Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE) (Freely available)
Specifically for clinical practice guidelines.
Understanding Health Research (Freely available)
This website will guide you through a series of simple questions to help you to easily review and interpret a published health research paper.
CATmaker (Freely available)
CATmaker is downloadable software that is designed to aid critical appraisal. Users can create Critically Appraised Topics (CATs) for diagnosis, prognosis and aetiology/harm studies as well as systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials. CATmaker calculates useful clinical measures, such as relative risk reduction and number needed to treat, from information entered by the user and helps formulate clinical ‘bottom lines’.
Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (Freely available)
The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) website hosts various calculating tools for interpreting the clinical and statistical significance of data reported in clinical research, such as confidence intervals and hazard ratios.
Crombie, I. K. (1996) The pocket guide to critical appraisal: a handbook for health care professionals. London, BMJ.
Gosall, N. & Gosall, G. (2009) The doctors guide to critical appraisal. 2nd Edition, Knutsford, PasTest.
Greenhalgh, T. (2010) How to read a paper: the basics of evidence-based medicine. 4th edition, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell.
Harris, M. & Taylor, G. (2008) Medical statistics made easy. 2nd edition, Bloxham, Scion.
Marchevsky, D. (2000) Critical appraisal of medical literature. New York, Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers.
Miles, M.B. (1994) Qualitative data analysis: an expanded sourcebook. 2nd edition, London, SAGE.
Strauss, S.E. (2011) Evidence-based medicine: how to practice and teach it. 4th edition, Edinburgh, Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
Woloshin, S. Schwartz, L & Welch, G. (2008) Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics. Berkeley, University of California Press. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0050876/
Atkins, D. et al (2004) Grading quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. BMJ, 328 (7454), 1490-71. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7454.1490
Egger, M. et al (1997) Meta-analysis: principles and procedures. BMJ, 315 (7121), 1533-1537. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7121.1533
Greenhalgh, T. (1997) How to read a paper - Links to articles in the BMJ. Available from: http://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/resources-readers/publications/how-read-paper
Jackson, R. et al (2006) The GATE frame: critical appraisal with pictures. Evidence-based nursing, 9 (3), 68-71. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ebm.11.2.35
Juni, P. et al (2001) Assessing the quality of controlled clinical trials. BMJ, 323 (7303), 42-46. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7303.42
Kuper, A. et al (2008) Critically appraising qualitative research. BMJ, 337 (7671), a1035. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1035
Welk, DS. (2007). How to read, interpret and understand evidence-based literature statistics. Nurse Educator, 32(1), 16-20.
Literature Searching and Systematic Reviews
Resources and guidance for undertaking literature searches and systematic reviews.
Systematic review flowchart
We have created this flowchart to help you understand the process of planning and carrying out a systematic review. Each box represents a stage in the process. Click on the link to be taken to more information about it.
The main focus is on effectively searching for literature to include in your review. Please contact your medicine librarian if you have any questions.
The flowchart includes a link to our Ovid video tutorial which explains how to use keywords and MeSH in Ovid databases to create a search strategy that will find resources to answer your research question. The tutorial lasts 45 minutes but is split into shorter videos so you can easily watch the sections that deal with particular problems that you are having.
Systematic review standards
PRISMA (Freely available)
The PRISMA Statement was developed by an international group with the aim of transparent reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The PRISMA Statement consists of a checklist and a flow diagram. The latter is useful for recording the flow of information through the different phases of a systematic review.
Systematic review software
Covidence (College Resource)
Covidence is a web-based Systematic Review management platform. Designed to streamline production of systematic reviews, it can be used from deduplicating search results through to the beginning of meta-analysis.
The key steps in supported by Covidence are:
Import of citations from a range of reference managers and de-duplication of study citations (with manual override), citation screening , full text review, Risk of Bias assessment, extraction of study characteristics and outcomes, export of data into RevMan and excel and of references into Reference Management software.
Join the Imperial College institutional license for unlimited reviews.
RevMan (Freely available)
Review Manager (RevMan) is the official software of the Cochrane Collaboration, and authors submitting systematic reviews for publication in the Cochrane Library must use RevMan to prepare their manuscript. RevMan’s licence allows it to be used free of charge for preparing Cochrane Reviews; as well as for other purely academic uses. Support using RevMan can be found here.
Imperial College London postgraduate students and staff who require statistical advice can request it from the Statistical Advisory Service.
Systematic review databases
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) (College resource)
CDSR is one of the constituent databases of the Cochrane Library. It contains Cochrane Reviews which are peer-reviewed systematic reviews that have been prepared and supervised by a Cochrane Review Group according to the principles laid out in the Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews of Interventions.
International Prospective Register of Systematic reviews (PROSPERO) (Freely available)
PROSPERO is produced by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. The register is useful for highlighting prospective systematic reviews and enables comparison of reported review findings with the original protocol.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) (Freely available)
ANZCTR is funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and the New Zealand Health Research Council. It is an online register of clinical trials being undertaken in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.
ClinicalTrials.gov (Freely available)
A US National Institutes of Health resource for locating government and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions, both in the United States and worldwide.
Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (College resource)
CENTRAL is one of the constituent databases of the Cochrane Library. It contains information on controlled trials drawn from a variety of sources.
EU Clinical Trials Register (Freely available)
This register provides the public with information held in the EU clinical trial database, EudraCT, which is used by national medicine regulatory authorities to support supervision of clinical trials and was established as a confidential database.
ISRCTN Registry (Freely available)
The ISRCTN register contains clinical trials from around the world that have been assigned a unique number so that they are easier to track.
An open, online database of information about the world’s clinical research trials. Directed by Dr. Ben Goldacre, this website is currently in beta. It aims to list all clinical trials and link to associated documents such as registry entries, protocols and structured data on methods and results.
World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform Search Portal (ICTRP) (Freely available)
The WHO ICTRP Search Portal provides access to a central database containing the trial registration data sets from a number of registries around the world.
Grey literature resources
Some conference papers and proceedings are available via databases such as Scopus, CINAHL, Embase and Medline; see the ‘Databases’ section.
A longer list of grey literature resources is available in Appendix One of our Systematic review flowchart (pdf)
OpenGrey (Freely available)
Run by System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe, it contains bibliographical references of grey literature produced in Europe. Records are in English; include bibliographic data and English abstract (from 1997).
NHS Digital (Freely available) Provider of high-quality information, data and IT systems for health and social care. Catalogue contains the official statistical publications Health & Social Care Information Centre produces about health and care in England. It also contains results from surveys, audits, reports and other statistics.
Other useful resources
InterTASC (Freely available)
Search Filter resource hosted by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Search filters are tried and tested search terms or strategies used to identify a topic or aspect, and are intended for repeated use. On the site search filters are identified, assessed and grouped by study design or focus.
Sense about science (Freely available)
Series written by a charity that aims to equip people to make sense of science and evidence; includes an overview of systematic reviews.
World Health Organization Global Health Library (Freely available)
The WHO Global Health Library brings together various regional indexes, such as LILACS (Literature in the Health Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean); and global indexes, such as MEDLINE, that cover information on health.
Article and online guides
Grindlay, DJC., & Karantana, A. Putting the ‘systematic’ into searching – tips and resources for search strategies in systematic reviews. Journal of Hand Surgery (European Volume.) 2018; 43(6): 674-678. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/1753193418778978
Higgins JPT, Green S (eds.) (2011) Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. The Cochrane Collaboration. Available from: http://training.cochrane.org/handbook [Accessed 5th September 2018].
University of York, NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (2009). Systematic reviews: CRD’s guidance for undertaking reviews in health care. York, CRD. Available from: http://www.york.ac.uk/crd/guidance/ [Accessed 5th September 2018].
CITATION SEARCHING TOOLS
Scopus (College resource)
Abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature, allows users to analyse and visualize research. Covers science, technology, medicine, social sciences and arts & humanities (50 million records; 21,000 titles).
Journal Citation Reports (College resource)
Citation data on journals; includes science, technology and social sciences (over 7,500 titles). Find most frequently cited, highest impact and, largest journals in a field.
For further assistance please contact your medicine librarian.